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Salvio gives Benfica victory in Alkmaar

Published: Thursday 3 April 2014, 23.06CET
AZ Alkmaar 0-1 SL Benfica
Eduardo Salvio fired into an unguarded net early in the second half to put last season's finalists in sight of the last four.
by Derek Brookman
from AZ Stadion
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Published: Thursday 3 April 2014, 23.06CET

Salvio gives Benfica victory in Alkmaar

AZ Alkmaar 0-1 SL Benfica
Eduardo Salvio fired into an unguarded net early in the second half to put last season's finalists in sight of the last four.

Last season's beaten finalists SL Benfica took a significant step towards another UEFA Europa League semi-final after a 1-0 first-leg victory at AZ Alkmaar.

AZ started as underdogs but dominated the first half, creating a number of good chances and enjoying the majority of possession. Steven Berghuis's powerful long-range shooting twice forced Artur into making crucial saves. However, Benfica immediately changed the complexion of the quarter-final tie after the break when Eduardo Salvio volleyed in from a rebound on 48 minutes. Thereafter, they looked the more likely side to score, and despite failing to do so they must now be clear favourites to claim a place in the last four.

AZ were fastest out of the blocks and Roy Beerens flashed a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box after five minutes. Dick Advocaat's team dominated possession and Beerens next turned provider, releasing Aron Jóhannsson behind the visitors' defence only for Artur to block his low strike with an outstretched leg. The Benfica keeper made an excellent diving stop to prevent Berghuis's left-footed effort from rocketing into the top right corner, and the Lisbon side had to wait until just before half-time for their first serious attempts on goal, Guilherme Siqueira and Rodrigo both missing the target.

It was all change after the restart, though. Within two minutes the ball broke to Óscar Cardozo on the edge of the area and although Esteban parried his shot, Salvio was on hand to expertly hook in the rebound. Cardozo had an opportunity to bury AZ but screwed his low drive wide, and while Viktor Elm was then presented with a glorious chance to restore parity, he headed tamely into Artur's arms. As play swung from end to end Rodrigo poked Ezequiel Garay's header high over the bar from a couple of metres.

Benfica were playing with much greater cohesion and after a fine flowing move down the left the ball broke to Rodrigo, whose drilled effort whistled past Esteban's left-hand post. AZ never managed to re-establish the fluency they showed in the first half, and only a fine double save from Esteban, repelling substitute Lima and then André Gomes, avoided further damage. Even so, they now require a major upset in Lisbon if their European odyssey is to continue beyond 10 April.

Last updated: 07/10/14 2.32CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000472/match=2012668/postmatch/report/index.html#az+succumb+salvio

Lineups

az

AZ

benfica

Benfica

1
EstebanEsteban (GK)
1
ArturArtur (GK)
2
JohanssonMattias Johansson
Yellow Card79
4
LuisãoLuisão (C)
4
ViergeverNick Viergever (C)
6
Rúben AmorimRúben Amorim
Substitution39
8
GudeljNemanja Gudelj
Substitution80
7
Óscar CardozoÓscar Cardozo
Substitution64
12
ElmViktor Elm
14
Maxi PereiraMaxi Pereira
Yellow Card90+5
15
S. PoulsenSimon Poulsen
Substitution49
16
SiqueiraGuilherme Siqueira
Yellow Card90
20
JóhannssonAron Jóhannsson
18
SalvioEduardo Salvio
Goal48
Yellow Card90+2
22
BerghuisSteven Berghuis
19
RodrigoRodrigo
Substitution77
23
BeerensRoy Beerens
20
GaitánNicolás Gaitán
Yellow Card61
24
GouweleeuwJeffrey Gouweleeuw
24
GarayEzequiel Garay
26
OrtizCelso Ortiz
30
André GomesAndré Gomes

Substitutes

16
De WinterYves De Winter (GK)
41
OblakJan Oblak (GK)
5
GorterDonny Gorter
8
SulejmaniMiralem Sulejmani
6
ReijnenEtienne Reijnen
10
DjuričićFilip Djuričić
7
GudmundssonJohann Gudmundsson
Substitution49
11
LimaLima
Substitution64
19
HenriksenMarkus Henriksen
Substitution80
33
JardelJardel
34
HoedtWesley Hoedt
34
André AlmeidaAndré Almeida
Substitution39
44
AvdicDenni Avdic
50
L. MarkovićLazar Marković
Substitution77

Coach

Dick Advocaat (NED) Jorge Jesus (POR)

Referee

Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

Assistant referees

Kim Thomas Haglund (NOR), Frank Andås (NOR)

Fourth official

Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR)

Additional assistant referees

Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR), Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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